Sabato's Crystal Ball

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

Matt Smyth, Senior Correspondent July 26th, 2004

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For Whom the Gavel Drops

Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe officially banged the convention to order this afternoon at 4PM, opening the first afternoon session which will feature quite a few speakers and take care of the convention’s parliamentary business in preparation for this evening’s prime time agenda. Security around the Fleet Center is indeed tight, with representatives from all different levels of law enforcement. The City of Boston expects to spend over $60 million on security, and up to this point there have been no major incidents. While there are only 4,353 delegates (plus 611 alternates), the Democratic National convention Committee has credentialed roughly 15,000 members of the media, and 15,000 other guests–including elected officials and foreign dignitaries—all of whom are expected to be in attendance during the week.

Prime Time Viewing Guide

The evening session will be divided into two distinct parts, beginning at 7PM and 9PM, respectively. Below is a list of speakers:

7PM Session:

9PM Session:

Reno 911

The Crystal Ball ran into former Clinton administration Attorney General and 2002 Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Janet Reno on Monday afternoon in Boston’s Quincy Market. While Reno is not here in an official capacity, she voiced her support for the Kerry-Edwards ticket. When asked about her impressions of the convention so far, she astutely quipped, “Well, it hasn’t started yet, so we’ll just have to see.”

Electoral College Shows its Spirit

Amidst the hubbub surrounding the Fleet Center, the Crystal Ball glimpsed an unusual downtown Boston summer sight: a pack of cheerleaders decked out in red, white, and blue. You might say that’s not all together strange, but add to it the fact that instead of the name of a university or its mascot, these pom-pom wavers instead appeared to be advertising for the Electoral College itself. Upon further investigation, these ladies were not just out simply to support the system by which we select our president–they are employed by a sportswear company that markets the Electoral College as if it were an actual institution of higher learning, in order to sell t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. According to one of the cheerleaders, “We don’t support the Electoral College itself, but we support the debate about the Electoral College, since it means more business for us.” It might not be the vision that the Founders had for the EC, but at least it’s capitalism.